Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why would you not like one of these little beauties!---and electric bike.

ON today's walk at the Bay in Onehunga I came upon the two people riding the bikes showing in the picture. I was wondering why Perdy was a little reticent about going to get her ball that I had 'thoughtlessly' (yeah right) thrown into the water, Usually she jumps in straight away and retrieves the ball. Given that it was a hot day---hell, I was doing her a favour. Not so---she was distracted by the two people on the bikes. Obviously the bikes were somehow different because she is not fazed by people riding bikes---she just  moves out of the way as she should. The bikes must have been giving off some sort of subliminal sound that only dogs can hear---I don't know for sure. Anyway the guys stopped and I couldn't help asking about the bikes. I shall be blogging much more about them as I was blown away by how good they are. I gave the guy my card and hopefully he will contact me so I can have a go--and yes---oops I think I shall get one. I thought they would be much dearer than he told me. About $1600 and they are from Australia. Once I have the specs ect. I shall put them up on a blog and take it from there. Watch out for more information. This is what we need using those bus lanes---get people out of cars and you can still peddle for exercise too. A bloody good compromise in my humble opinion.

Has Colorado let the cat out of the bag, re legalizing the sale of marijuana to anyone 21 and up?

The debate about marijuana has gone on for decades, around the world. There has been 'experiments' with legalization in several countries and some states in the USA. About the only aspect that is generally agreed on is that the heavy use of this drug on minors, namely teenagers, does have negative effects on the healthy development of young brains and bodies, more than probably contributing to early psychosis. There is little doubt that the education of young people is compromised and increased levels of 'other; at risk behaviours is a common outcome. Yes, the same can be said for alcohol use and many would say that the latter is still the major issue for young people.
The question becomes a lot more complicated when it comes to adult use of marijuana and the arguments for and against have not resulted in a major rapprochement between the two sides. I still sit squarely in the middle. Marijuana as with alcohol, affects people in different ways. We all know that people 'hold' their booze' differently and that for some it is not a problem, ( that is, not immediately apparent), especially for moderate and low use, but for others, even a small amount can be detrimental; affecting relationships, employment and general health, so, there is no one answer to the dangers of alcohol use.
We are seeing the same debate re the use of marijuana; some would say at a more extreme range. What is most definitely needed in the Colorado case is that the move towards liberalization must be carefully researched and if need be, a reversal may have to be considered.
We all know that denying those under 21 years of age access, does not mean that they will not be ale to get their hands on the product. The hope that gangs and other criminal groupings will be marginalized is pie-in-the-sky stuff.' They will always find ways of influencing and controlling parts of the world of drugs. It is merely a question of how they will achieve their goals.
I am sure that wee in New Zealand will be closely watching what happens in the state of Colorado, because there is a push here too to go down that road. We also know that there is significant damage done by marijuana to our young people and the last thing we want is to exacerbate this problem in our own society. If only the answers were more readily apparent! I have seen the damage to young people, through the work I do with young people as a counsellor. It would be abhorrent to me to see this become even a bigger issue, all in the name of the right of some to be able to access a questionable drug. The right to free choice must be balanced against the need for the greater good of society at large. A vexing question, indeed.

Kiwis may love this even though it's a bit UN-PC....check it out!

Click Me!
Loved this one so well done.
-------Original Message-------
Aussies will laugh because they love Sheep jokes, Kiwis will understand it and well---the rest of the world---you won't have a clue, but have a laugh anyway!

Date: 1/1/2014 9:55:56 PM
Subject: FW: : On a North Island Farm

Turn up the volume, kick back and enjoy. 

                             Only a KIWI could understand this one!!!!!!!!!
On a North Island farm
Check this out, all the fun of on the farm....

The Artichokes - WAIWHAKAMUKAU


An unenviable task for the police in Christchurch as dumb-arse youth riot!

New years eve went by relatively calmly for most of NZ. People had fun and yes, there were arrests for those who 'went too far,' but overall, it could be said that we have seen years when it was a great deal worse. The stand-out case' of the 'one that got away,' in Christchurch is the exception. A group of young flatters, either naively or stupidly let a party get out of control. By the time people had restored some sort of order, the flat had been damaged to the point that it was uninhabitable. The young people living in the flat try to blame the carnage on Facebook. Get real guys. How come someone young and probably FB-savy could be sucked into thinking that anything else would be the result of their invites to 'friends.' In the old days, such things happened too and that was just through word of mouth and the resulting 'gate crash' criminals arriving at the scene. I cannot believe that they were unaware of the ramifications of their party like it was the end of the world.
The police were hampered by a stupid law that did not allow them to enter the property because they did not have a permit until someone in the property complained. How stupid is that. The party could have been clamped down much earlier, preventing the craziness that followed, if only they had acted faster. Have we learnt nothing from previous experiences of parties that have been fed by the FB pages and other social media platforms? Lets look at the laws around preservation of a reasonable level of peace in our communities that so that we are all safer. I am not advocating some sort of puritanical regime re parties, but I am looking for a balance, whereby we are all the winners. Fun---with responsibility and of people can;t act themselves, then let the law do it for them! I hope these young fools have learnt. No doubt the 'daddy' of the flatmates, who owns the property will have his 'say!'

Any move to curb smoking should be supported, along with moves to fight obesity.

I support the latest move by the Counties Manukau Health to offer $300 worth of vouchers to pregnant mums as an incentive to stop smoking. The costs are more than made up for by the savings in medical expenses, both during the pregnancy and after. For those who say it is a waste of money, then perhaps the monetary benefits would be enough to sway their thinking.
The same could be said re efforts to change the ever-growing issue of obesity in our population. When figures of around 30% plus of our population falling into an 'over-weight, right through to morbidly obese categories,' it is worrying enough and has huge ramifications, both for the health of NZers and the costs on our health system. Combine effort re smoking cessation programmes with attaining healthier weights for NZers and we would make a significant dent in the overall costs to the tax payer. Smoking and 'over-eating' (and lack of knowledge about what constitutes, healthy eating) are fed by similar  stimuli, be it advertising, image or 'possible disorders' within the individual, related to inherent compulsions or additive type behaviours. A great deal more work needs to be done to address these two serious problems for our country.
 I do not condemn those who smoke or over eat. After all, I have been in that category for most of my adult life and it was only after a pretty dramatic intervention in the form of bariatric surgery that I finally felt I was winning and heading towards a healthier life-style. I wish there was a similar procedure for those choosing to stop smoking. We would all be the winners as Government funding could then be switched to other areas of concern for our beautiful country---like roads, public transport, regional development, just to name a few---or lower taxes for those who think purely in those terms.Good on you Counties Manukau Health!

Real 'home-cooked' French food now available in New World stores. Great!

I love French food. When a company launched a ready-made food product into New World stores around the country, I was delighted. Not that I would eat the serving in one sitting, but having something 'a bit different' to the usual fare, most definitely tempts my taste buds.'
The proof will of course be in the eating and I shall get back to you with this 'supposedly taste just like French food, cooked in the home,' offering.

Read the article, below, in the NZ Herald. 

French food firm tastes success

By Christopher Adams

5:30 AM Thursday Jan 2, 2014
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Small Business
Founder of French cuisine company says business-friendly New Zealand key to achievement.

Thomas Dietz' ready-to-eat French meals are now sold in supermarkets and groceries all over the country.
Thomas Dietz' ready-to-eat French meals are now sold in supermarkets and groceries all over the country.
Global surveys often rank New Zealand as one of the easiest places in the world to run a business, and Frenchman Thomas Dietz would be inclined to agree.

The 37-year-old founded Tomette - a ready-to-eat French meal company - in Auckland in 2012 and the firm already has its products stocked in supermarkets across the country.

Dietz reckons his chances of success would have been pretty low had he established the business back in his home city of Paris.

"It would have been very difficult," he said. "It would have required lots more money and a lot more time."

Dietz was amazed by the ease with which a company could be set up here.

"It's really super-easy, whereas in France you have so much administration and everything is very complex," he said. "Here in New Zealand you just pay $167 and you're registered. Everything is set up to help you."

Dietz said his start-up had received a lot of support, both from the Government-run Food Bowl food innovation centre in Manukau and Auckland business incubator The Icehouse, which owns a 6 per cent stake in the firm.

Tomette's fresh (unfrozen) meals - which include beef bourguignon, chicken basquaise and lamb provencale - are now stocked in more than 30 New World supermarkets and specialty grocery retailers from Kerikeri to Dunedin.

Dietz said the meals were based on his late grandmother's recipes.

"It's not complex French cuisine," he said. "What we want to do is make French cuisine accessible - you can eat French food that is like made at home."

Dietz said ready-to-eat meals were a growing segment because people were "time poor".

Tomette's aim was to not only provide good-quality food but to take people on a "tour de France of gastronomy" in the two and a half minutes it took to prepare a meal.

Dietz said sales of Tomette meals had grown rapidly over the past year.

"In the second month we were selling four times as much as we were planning for after eight or nine months."

Dietz previously spent 10 years working for cosmetics company L'Oreal - a job which brought him to this country six years ago to work in the giant French firm's New Zealand division.

He is married to Jennifer Zea, a Venezuelan singer who recently produced an album with well-known Kiwi jazz musician Nathan Haines. The couple have a 6-year-old daughter called Obaya.

Read more by Christopher Adams Save
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